For quite a while now I've been hearing about The Room, a burgeoning cult classic out of the bowels of the LA film community directed by and starring Tommy Wiseau, a mysterious and hilarious gentleman as purposefully confident as he is accidentally hilarious (though Wiseau contends the humor is purposeful, even though fellow cast members contend the film was supposed to be a drama and ended up a case in filmic schadenfreude).
The CIA Cinematheque has show The Room a few times already, but that has nothing on the frequency with which the film is shown in LA, where regular midnight screenings have begun to attract the kind of choreographed fandom usually reserved for films like Rocky Horror Picture Show. And, it being Hollywood, the film collected its celebrity backers, most notably Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, and Kristen Bell.
When the dynamic duo running the show at the Cinematheque decided to bring the audience favorite back one more time, I knew I had to contact Wiseau and see if he'd do a Q&A. To my surprise, he readily agreed, and participated ... sort of ... in his own cryptic, combative way.
1) Other than other films/filmmakers, where do you find your influences? I mean, is there a certain type of art or artist, idea, spirit, etc.
In response to your first question no one influence me in my creation. I inspired myself. However, I like the work to name a few, James Dean, Elisabeth Taylor, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, and others.
2) If you were asked by a younger filmmaker about to make his/her first serious and hopefully commercially viable film, what advice would you give him/her? Or is there a better (earlier?) time to give sage advice?
First don't think about 100% of your project but first complete 20% then 40% and so forth.
3) What's your favorite scene in The Room?
My favorite scene is the Chris-R scene.
4) What has the experience of having your film become a cult sensation been like? Has it opened more doors for you in Hollywood?
If you work hard you will always have work in the entertainment industry. The originality of any work eventually will be appreciated by the public as long as it's related to human behavior or the environment.
5) The city of Cleveland has made some noise recently about wanting to make this a more film-friendly city. In your opinion, what are the most important things a city can do to encourage that kind of industry attention?
This question, as your readers know, it's a purely political question. If the city of Cleveland decide to invite me for a meeting related to becoming a film-friendly city I would be glad to present ideas how the city can attract filmmakers and production companies to accomplish this goal.
6) Last but not least, any previous Cleveland experiences worth sharing?
Everyone in Cleveland should see The Room. You can laugh you can cry you can express yourself but please don't hurt each other.
Be sure to check out The Room at the CIA Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) on Saturday at 9:10 PM. If you can read the interview above and watch the trailer below and still not be tempted to check out this cinematic awesomeness, well, I just don't know who you are anymore. Go see it!